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Is there a cheaper alternative to Nexium?

asked Jun 2, 2012 by simond (140 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
In most cases, yes. The most cost effective alternative to Nexium is generic omeprazole.  Omeprazole is an equal mixture of two slightly different molecules, S-omeprazole (a.k.a. esomeprazole) and R-omeprazole, whereas Nexium is purified  S-omeprazole. In other words, half of generic omeprazole is Nexium and the other half is a close relative of Nexium. The makers of Nexium claim that it is significantly more effective than generic omeprazole in humans. Some studies (mostly those funded by the maker of Nexium) support this claim while others indicate that the same doses of Nexium and  omeprazole show the same effectiveness.

Overall, it appears that many people can get the same relief with the same dose of either Nexium or generic omeprazole. Others may need a modestly higher dose of omeprazole (which still would be far less costly than using Nexium). For very few people, Nexium might work much better than omeprazole and/or the dosage of omeprazole required to replace Nexium would cause greater side-effects than Nexium. For those few, Nexium might be the drug of choice and its cost would be justified. But for the vast majority, generic omeprazole would do the job just as well while costing far less.

However, if you are on Nexium, make sure to speak to you doctor before switching medications.
answered Jun 2, 2012 by pharmageek (1,910 points)